Judge Lester F. Williamson, Sr.
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Services for Judge Lester Franklin Williamson, Sr., will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday August 12, 2013, at Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church, Meridian, Mississippi with Reverend Doctor Larry H. Hilliard and Reverend Doctor W.D. Pigott officiating. Visitation will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home on Sunday August 11, 2013 and on Monday one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery.
Judge Williamson passed away on August 7, 2013, at his home. Born on December 17, 1922, Judge Williamson was a lifetime resident of Meridian. A graduate of Meridian High School, he received his degree from the University Of Mississippi School of Law in 1949. He attended Ole Miss on a football scholarship, but his football career was interrupted by his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He returned from the war, completed his degree, and was a member of the M Club.
Judge Williamson served as District Attorney for the 10th Circuit Court District of Mississippi, including Lauderdale, Clarke, Wayne and Greene Counties, from 1952-1956. He was elected Circuit Judge of the 10th Circuit Court District in 1966 and served as Senior Circuit Judge until his retirement in 1987. During his career on the bench, the Judge earned the respect of all who entered his courtroom. He was referred to by one newspaper reporter as "The teddy bear judge with grizzly resolve."
A lifelong member of Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church, Judge Williamson served for several years as the Senior High Sunday School Teacher and was a member of the St. Andrews Sunday School Class. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, and served for several years as the President of the North Meridian Optimist Little League Baseball Program. As a young man he officiated many high school football games, and he was a loyal supporter of Meridian High Wildcat Football. Judge Williamson was a founding member of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, along with his father, Nate Semmes Williamson; his aunt, Carrie Williamson Rodgers; Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow.
Following his retirement from the bench, Judge Williamson was an avid golfer with the Senior Men's group at Lakeview Golf Club. He also enjoyed managing his cattle farm with his longtime friend and partner, Ted Herrington. He and his wife Ann traveled the world with their friends John and Janet McLaurin.
Judge Williamson was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Ann Wright Williamson and his parents Nate Semmes Williamson and Mae Watts Williamson. He is survived by his five children, Judge Lester F. Williamson, Jr., and his wife, Cathy, of Meridian, John Wright Williamson and his wife, Liz, of Montgomery, Texas; Ann Brickell Williamson of Scottsdale, Arizona; Wilhelmina Adele Williamson Graham of Meridian; and Nate Semmes Williamson, II, and his wife, Amanda of Meridian; grandchildren Virginia Williamson, Lester F. ( Les) Williamson, III, John Thomas Williamson, Elizabeth Williamson, Morgan Williamson, Andrew Armstrong, Semmes Partridge, Hailey Partridge, Farrah Williamson and Alice Williamson; and great grandchild, Colton Jordan. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Iris Wright, of Mobile, Alabama.
Judge Williamson may be memorialized through gifts to Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church or the
Family and friends may sign the online guest book at robertbarhamffh.com.
Published in Clarion Ledger from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, 2013